The 2022 OUA Nordic Championships were held Saturday and Sunday on the campus of Laurentian University. The course conditions were in wonderful shape and, despite some unexpected strong winds, the competitors had fantastic two days of racing.
Day 1 began with the interval start freestyle event, which saw the women hit the trails first followed by the men. After three laps of the 3.5km course, it was Lakehead Thunderwolves skier, Shaylynn Loewen, who topped the podium with a time of 33:26. She was followed closely behind by uOttawa Gee-Gee, Magalie Daoust, who was 9.7 seconds off the pace. Lakehead’s Natalie Hynes rounded out the podium in a time of 33:43.1.
On the men’s side, it was a pair of skiers who separated themselves from the pack with Waterloo Warriors skier, Finn Dodgson, grabbing gold in 28:01.6 while Lakehead’s Guillaume Pelchat finished second, 28:18.5 behind. Carleton Ravens’ Devon Pengrum was able to grab the bronze medal in a time of 29:26.8, 1:25.2 behind the race winner.
In the afternoon, it was the team relays that took centre stage. On the women’s side, a trio of schools separated themselves from the pack as the Carleton Ravens, Lakehead Thunderwolves, and Ottawa Gee-Gees sprinted for the line. In the end, it was the Gee-Gees surging ahead of the Thunderwolves at the line with just 0.2 seconds separating the two, as the Ravens had to settle for bronze.
In the men’s race, after a tight first leg, the teams started to be strung out and, in the end, the Thunderwolves pulled away from Nipissing to finish fifteen seconds clear of the Lakers with the Ravens coming across the line in third place, more than a minute behind the Lakers.
On Sunday, the lone races of the day were the 10km mass start classic events. The men were the first ones on course and it was a pair of Thunderwolves who pulled away from the pack and Guillaume Pelchat and Conor McGovern crossed the line 1-2, less that one second apart, with Pelchat posting a time of 28:16. Waterloo’s Finn Dodgson rounded out the podium, finishing 13.2 seconds back.
On the women’s side, Shaylynn Loewen left little doubt as to who the weekend’s top skier was as she grabbed gold for the second time, finishing in 33:24.2, six seconds ahead of Carleton’s Katherine Mason and 17.5 seconds ahead of teammate Natalie Hynes.